Statewide U-Haul shortage leaves college towns desperate for equipment
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Summer is ending and a new semester will soon begin. That means college students are on the move and moving trucks are in high demand. “It’s the first time that I’ve ever had it be this bad, on shortage of equipment,” Moreland said. Kim Moreland owns three U-haul locations in Starkville. She said August is their busiest month of the year. “Every kid in this town got to be out of one apartment and into another. Right now, I am, I got 23 local trucks that all belong here for in-towns only. I would say those trucks are going out, every one of those, two, three, some of them four times a day right now, trying to accommodate for the college kids,” Moreland said. Our reservations right now are limited from 4 to 6 hours.” Because of the shortage, Moreland and her crew have traveled across state lines to bring more into town. Mississippi U-Haul Marketing Company President Charles Johnston has been making drives along with local staff. Moreland herself has made 293 trips. “We know it’s a busy time of year and we’re prepared for it. But I know there’s a shortage of equipment in the state of Mississippi right now. We’ve gone and picked it up from Arkansas, in Florida, over into Alabama. I’ve even gone up into Tennessee,” Moreland said. Moreland said booking online won’t guarantee you get what you reserve. “We were averaging 400 reservations a day, over across the state of Mississippi. And there are not enough trucks and they finally shut down the reservation system. But we had 20 people walk in, last Saturday, that had reservations that had not been assigned yet,” Moreland said. To help with the number of reservations, U-haul staff suggested that movers pack everything up, even before getting the truck, to speed up the moving process. “If you have a reservation for the 31st and you need to move out of state, if that landlord will give us one day just to find the equipment, we’ll find, we’ll figure something out. Just bear with us,” Moreland said. Moreland added that people with online reservations should call their local u-haul dealer to check on their reservations.